A brand new, ranch-style rental home on Nixon Loop in Rathdrum is going for $1,595 a month.
At 1,630 square feet, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom single family home comes with stainless steel appliances, plenty of closet and cabinet space, a two-car garage, hydroseeded lawn, a gas stove and fireplace, central air conditioning and quick access to good schools.
"It’s all brand new. A lot of people want that. Fresh paint, nice carpet, wood floors. It’s nice,” said Mark Jensen, president and co-owner of North Idaho Rental Company, which manages the Nixon Loop property. "In California, a place like this is probably $5,000, $6,000 (a month) at least ... They’re really gouging down there. California is really expensive."
According to researchers at the apartment search website of Apartment List, www.apartmentlist.com, California is home to the most expensive apartment housing in the country. San Francisco tops the list: In the Golden Gate City, on average, a $1,500 apartment will get you 340 square feet.
New York City is close behind with an average of 350 square feet for the same monthly price.
"It’s a demand thing, supply and demand. There's not enough to supply the people; that's why the cost is higher," said Windermere agent Angela Austin, who has been in real estate about 10 years. "Same here (in North Idaho). There’s not as many rentals right now, so the folks who are renting are able to raise their rent. I can't speak to New York or Detroit, but I can imagine that’s the issue. At $1,500, I can’t wrap my brain around that. People will pay it because there’s nothing else."
Rent might be increasing across the board as North Idaho grows in popularity, but those who choose to rent here are still getting the luxury of space and amenities. It's difficult to find many apartments in the area that rent in the $1,500 range. Those that do exist are pretty swanky.
A Coeur d'Alene North condominium unit that is listed online for $1,450 monthly rent comes with two bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms and sweeping views of Lake Coeur d'Alene and the downtown area. It includes gas heat and a gas fireplace, central air conditioning, a refrigerator, washer and dryer and reserved underground parking. It also comes with access to tennis courts, a full gym, indoor pool, hot tub and sauna and a community room with full kitchen, TV and gas fireplace.
North Idaho Rental Company also manages some nice condos in Riverstone in the $1,395-$1,550 price range. A one-bedroom, roughly 975-square-foot unit that was recently rented out for a reduced price was listed as having magnificent views, all appliances, stacking washer and dryer, gas heat, a small office and underground parking. The price included water, sewer and garbage, and a location close to shopping, restaurants and the theater.
On the lower end of the price scale, a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home on a third of an acre on Best Avenue in Coeur d'Alene is listed on www.zillow.com at $1,295 per month. This 1,000-square-foot house comes completely furnished with a flat-screen TV, microwave, new flooring, dishes, washer and dryer and a queen-sized bed, as well as an attached garage.
On www.apartments.com, a one-bedroom listing for about the same price ($1,300) on 162nd Street in Manhattan will provide the renter with 400 square feet, a shared bathroom and a window.
Yes, a single window is listed as one of the highlights.
"We've got it good in that we have the space and breathing room, versus somewhere in New York. They're piled on top of each other, really," Austin said. "Think about someone over there coming here and paying $1,500 a month for a yard and some space. They're going to be thrilled."
An interactive graph on www.apartmentlist.com that accompanies the article, "Where Do Renters Get the Most for Their Money?," shows that renters in Coeur d'Alene get about 1,540 square feet per $1,500, while those in Spokane Valley get about 1,460 square feet and those in Post Falls get even more space with 1,720 square feet.
The most inexpensive big cities are Detroit (1,750 square feet) and Las Vegas (1,640 square feet).
Austin said with the way the housing market is right now, those who are willing to pay $1,500 per month might as well buy a home. That way the money is going toward something they can keep.